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Akyea, Ayikoi And A Supreme Court Botch

court ruling

Photo Reporting- Plea in Mitigation: Akyea, Ayikoi And A Supreme Court BotchAkyea, Ayikoi And A Supreme Court Botch

…The Role of a Defence Counsel in Mitigation Plea- Strategies of Counsel(s) Atta-Akyea and Nii Ayikoi-Otoo in the Contemptuous Matters of Ken Korankye and Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie & Others


Law Gazette [1]: “Whether an accused pleads guilty or is found guilty after a trial, he is entitled to make, or have made on his behalf, a plea in mitigation before sentence is passed...A well-crafted plea in mitigation, eloquently delivered may make all the difference between prison and a non-custodial sentence. As defence counsel, your role in the delivery of a plea in mitigation, like in all other matters, is to safeguard and advance your client’s interest. Your duty is to see that all relevant factors on the question of sentence are
brought to the attention of the court. As an officer of the court, you have an obligation to ensure that you do not mislead the court or squander the court’s time. Where a client has previous convictions and the prosecution omits to put the record before the court, you are under no duty to make disclosure of the same, save that you must not assert that the client has no antecedents or direct questions to the prosecution in the hope of receiving an answer...”


For over a decade in journalism, legal research and readings, I’m yet to stumble upon a mitigation plea where the defence counsel’s speech had been openly/highly pitched on the defendant’s or the counsel’s personal or professional relationship with the “disinterested judge/magistrate”, sitting on the case rather than the law, sentencing guidelines or the pre-sentencing report(PSR) on the convict. Yet the former Attorney-General and Minister for Justice- Nii Ayikoi-Otoo, successfully relied on his birthday celebration and the professional links, in tempering justice with mercy in rescuing his main client- Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie, from imprisonment and revocation of his legal practice certificate. With counsel Atta-Akyea’s failed bid on Editor Ken Agyei-Korankye charges, it remains a tussle whether the rule of law was evenly served. You may also add: what if my counsel had no birthday or knew nobody at the bench or, whether Hon. Akyea acted in the best interest of his client?



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